Hale County's largest employer has 2,100 workers watching over 4,700 cattle that come through its doors every day. The Cargill Meat Solutions plant, formerly known as Excel, has operated in Plainview since 1971. It produces about 4 percent of all boxed beef consumed in the country. The plant's general manager attributes its success to several factors, including the employees. General Manager Jim Rathke says, "We've got great people, number one to work here. We got great resources in Texas Tech and all the other schools around. We're very ag oriented and probably the biggest ingredient we have is all the cattle around here to be able to buy from." Rathke estimates that 90 percent of the Plainview plant's cattle come from within a 100-mile radius.
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